azalea

purple haze –

beneath the flowering mountain

chainsaws sing

to the fallen cedars

.

つつじ咲きかすめる山のふもとにはチェンソーうたい杉の香のして (tsutsuji saki/kasumeru yama no/fumoto ni wa/chen-sou utai/sugi no ka no shite)…………………………….tanka-style Jap. trans. by Hisashi Miyazaki

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6 Responses to “azalea”

  1. A very nice image, sharp contrast to the final line. One small point: I’d like to read “chainsaw” instead of the plural form. The simgular is also the plural in many cases. But here, my problem is with the “s” sound at the end of the word. Reading the haiku aloud, the “s” gets in the way somehow. It drops me out of the poetic mode.
    Aside from this, good stuff, Dave.

  2. Request: please revert the posting to its original, which was much better!

  3. The last time I was on the Icebox site, the last line was “chainsaws due,” which I found confusing– now the second half of the poem keeps me on the mountain instead of losing me. I can smell the sawdust!

    I can hear what Richard’s saying about the sonic effect of the plural (though “chainsaw sings” would have a saucy/see-saw sound I don’t think you’re going for), but on the other hand, I loved the evocative repeated z sound of “azalea” and “haze.” Best, E.

  4. Jimmie Hendrix on the chainsaw?

  5. Hisashi Miyazaki Says:

    つつじ咲きかすめる山のふもとにはチェンソーうたい杉の香のして
    (tsutsuji saki/kasumeru yama no/fumoto ni wa/chen-sou utai/sugi no ka no shite)
    For this translation, Ellis’es ‘ smell of the sawdust’ is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

  6. david mccullough Says:

    thank you Hisashi,
    as usual, your translation beats the original

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